Shipping ministry slashes port tariff for cruise ships by 60-70%
17 August 2020
Ministry of shipping has rationalised tariff rates for cruise vessels with a net reduction in rates ranging from 60 per cent to 70 per cent, with immediate effect, in a move that would give substantial relief to the cruise industry in India, especially in the current pandemic situation.
A shipping ministry release said the decision is in line with the government policy to support the economy in the Covid-19 pandemic situation.
The decision will support the cruise industry and domestic cruise tourism from the adverse economic impacts of Covid-19 pandemic, union minister of state for shipping, Mansukh Mandaviya, said.
The revised port charges for a cruise ship will be $0.085 per gross registered tonnage (GRT) instead of $0.35 at present, for first 12 hours stay (fixed rate) and $5 per passenger (head tax). Ports will not charge any other rate like berth hire, port dues, pilotage, passenger fee, etc.
For the period exceeding 12 hours stay, the fixed charges on cruise ships will be equal to the berth hire charges payable as per schedule of rates (SOR), with 40 per cent discount as applicable for cruise ships.
Further, cruise ships making up to 50 calls per year will get 10 per cent rebate in tariff while those making 51-100 calls per year will get 20 per cent rebate and those making calls above 100 per year will get 30 per cent rebate in rates.
The rationalized tariff shall be immediately effective for a period of one year, the ministry said.
Cruise shipping business has been very adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the industry needs the right policy environment and infrastructure for the cruise shipping and tourism to survive and grow.
Meanwhile, the number of calls made by cruise ships in India has increased from 128 in 2015-16 to 593 in 2019-20. This rationalisation would help to ensure that cruise calls at Indian ports do not dry up completely in pandemic times.
“It will be a big support for the cruise tourism in India, which has suffered tremendously due to the adverse economic impacts of Covid-19 pandemic. It will provide the opportunity to earn huge amount of foreign exchange and generate sizeable direct and indirect onshore employment in cruise tourism sector of India,” Mandaviya added.